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Local tries for $1M on TV show

By Staff | Dec 30, 2008

Who wants to be a millionaire? In today’s economy, the better question might be, who would not?
Cape Coral’s Darrel Fasano was a guest on the popular game show, where he tried to win a cool million on national television.
Fasano’s two-day stint on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” will air Monday and Tuesday on CW6 at 5:30 p.m.
Since the episodes have yet to air, Fasano is contractually obliged not divulge his winnings, but he did say, “If I had won the million, I wouldn’t still be working at Publix.”
Fasano’s construction company, like most throughout the region, is ailing, and he hoped a stint on the show would bring some better fortune to him and his family.
He had taken a night job at Publix when he decided to give the game show a try, beginning an arduous process that cost him nearly $4,000.
“I had to fly to New York and pay all of my own expenses,” Fasano said. “It was a big investment.”
The initial trip to NYC found Fasano taking a written test with 200 other millionaire hopefuls.
After a series of correspondences from the show’s producers, Fasano found he would in fact be a guest and had to fly back a second time to New York on his own dime.
He nearly made it into the seat, when the show’s host, Meredith Vieira, was whisked away to Bejing to co-host certain Olympic telecasts.
That meant a third trip — and a third set of expenses — was necessary for Fasano to return to New York once more.
“I went on the show to win money and it was draining me bad,” he said.
When he finally made it onto the show, he said he had a great time and Vieira made him feel very comfortable.
“I had a lot of interaction with Meredith. She was really cool,” Fasano recalled. “She chats with you off camera … she really zones you in and makes you feel comfortable. When the cameras roll, it feels like she’s dealing with you on a one on one thing.”
Fasano plans on having a party Monday, inviting all his friends over to see how much he did — or did not — win.
“It was a long road getting there,” he said.